COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.
- Increased funding is being provided for Alberta caregivers to expand supports and resources.
- Military families needing child care will now be able to access reopened child care centres.
- Cases have been identified in all zones across the province:
- 1,242 cases in the Calgary zone
- 402 cases in the Edmonton zone
- 107 cases in the North zone
- 74 cases in the Central zone
- 36 cases in the South zone
- Nine cases in zones yet to be confirmed
- Of these cases, there are currently 44 people in hospital, 14 of whom have been admitted to intensive care units (ICU).
- 276 cases are suspected of being community acquired.
- A total of 33 people have died in the Calgary zone, eight people have died in the Edmonton zone, six people have died in the North zone, and one person has died in the Central zone.
- One of the recent deaths was at McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre in Calgary and the other was at Shepherd’s Care Kensington in Edmonton.
- Stronger outbreak measures have been put in place at continuing care facilities. To date, 214 cases have been confirmed at these facilities, with a total of 30 deaths.
- There have been 79,695 people tested for COVID-19 and a total of 82,649 tests performed by the lab. There were 2,868 tests completed in the last 24 hours.
- Any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 including cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath, is now eligible for testing. People can access testing by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment online. A separate self-assessment tool is available for health-care and shelter workers, enforcement and first responders.
- Effective April 15, continuing care workers will be required to wear masks at all times when providing direct patient care or working in patient care areas.
- Starting April 16, workers in long-term care and designated supportive living sites will only be allowed to work at one location. This requirement must be fully implemented no later than April 23.
Continuous masking in health-care settings
More than 1.5 million masks have been shipped to 941 long-term care facilities, designated supportive living facilities, and addiction and mental health facilities across the province to support Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) Guidelines for Continuous Masking in Healthcare settings. AHS has also shipped and increased stock of four million masks to all AHS, Covenant Health, and subsidiary facilities. This week, 1,470 pharmacies will receive a total of 147,000 masks and 2.4 million gloves.
Increased supports for Alberta caregivers
The Alberta government is providing $3 million to Caregivers Alberta, a non-profit organization, to expand supports and resources for caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.
Psychosocial, along with other peer and community supports, are currently available through the toll-free caregiver advisor line at 1-877-453-5088 and online at caregiversalberta.ca for all caregivers, including those caring for someone with COVID-19 or in self-isolation.
Access to justice
The Provincial Court of Alberta has clarified its process regarding the criminal fine payment extension. For more information: https://albertacourts.ca/pc/resources/announcements.
Child care for military families
Military families needing child care will now be able to access reopened child care centres. Military personnel were originally not included in the list of provincial workers who can access child care, as they are overseen by the federal government.
The Alberta government is ensuring child care is not a barrier for military families so they can continue their essential work supporting, protecting and keeping Albertans safe.
Reducing spring wildfires and protecting municipalities
Alberta Wildfire is hiring 200 additional firefighters, invoking a fire ban in in the Forest Protection Area, implementing off-highway vehicle (OHV) restrictions on Crown land in the Forest Protection Area, increasing fine violations and funding $20 million more in community FireSmart initiatives to prepare for the upcoming wildfire season during COVID-19.
Alberta Parks is also implementing a fire ban in parks and protected areas. These early preparedness measures will ensure the province can effectively focus resources where they are needed most in the event of multiple emergencies happening at the same time.
For more information on wildfires, download the Alberta Wildfire app. Up-to-date information on fire restrictions, fire bans, OHV restrictions and general wildfire information is available at albertafirebans.ca or by calling 1-866-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473). To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (310-3473) toll-free, from anywhere in Alberta.
Alberta is extending the suspension of road tests until the public health emergency ends and while procedures are developed to conduct road tests that prevent against the spread of COVID-19.
Road tests will resume when it is safe to do so. Albertans who have a road test cancelled as a result of this suspension of service will be able to rebook online once the public health emergency ends or later, at no additional charge.
Mental health supports
Confidential supports are available to help with mental health concerns. The Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 and the Addiction Help Line at 1-866-332-2322 are available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week. Online resources provide advice on handling stressful situations or ways to talk with children.
Family violence prevention
A 24-hour Family Violence Information Line is available at 310-1818 to get anonymous help.
Alberta’s One Line for Sexual Violence is available at 1-866-402-8000, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., in more than 170 languages.
Information sheets and other resources on family violence prevention are available at alberta.ca/COVID19.
- The most important measures that Albertans can take to prevent respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, is to practise good hygiene.
- This includes cleaning your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or sleeve, and disposing of tissues appropriately.
- Anyone who has health concerns or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should complete an online COVID-19 self-assessment.
- For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit alberta.ca/COVID19.